Product Care

Selecting a Light Fixture


    Find the fixture style(s) that fits your application and note its name and model number, as well as the shade holder/fitter size.


    With eight finishes to choose from, you can create the exact look you want. All of our custom finishes are equally priced, so just select the one most suitable for your space.


    Take care to choose the shade and overall size that will best suit your style, use and application. Pay close attention to the fitter size of each shade, as it is the determining factor in pairing fixtures and shades. The shade’s fitter size must be the same size as the fixture shade holder/fitter. Note the shade’s height and width, which are important factors in determining the shade’s diameter and scale.


    Typically the length of a lighting fixture is measured from the ceiling to the lowest point of the glass shade(s). The industry standard refers to this as the Overall Length. The Fixture Length, on the other hand, is the length of the lighting fixture without the glass shade. Once you determine how long you want your fixture to hang from the ceiling to the bottom of the shade(s), subtract the shade height from the overall length to determine the fixture length. (Check to make sure that the Fixture Length added to the Shade Height equals the desired Overall Length.) These specifications will help us build your fixture as you had envisioned. (Note: Fixtures built to a specified length are considered custom orders and are non-returnable.)

    Most of our pan and pendant style lighting fixtures are custom made according to your specifications. We offer our fixtures in a range of standard lengths that indicate the shortest length to the longest length we can make it before there is an additional charge for the extended length. Decide how low you want your entire light fixture—including the shade—to hang in your space and provide that information as the Overall Length on the order from. Record the Shade Height of your selected shade and subtract that height from the desired Overall Length. The remaining length will be your desired Fixture Length.


    Sloped or vaulted ceilings? J-Box with no wall switch? Most of our fixtures are custom built to your specifications and can be adapted to accommodate even the most unusual areas. Please note that fixtures built with special options are considered custom orders that cannot be returned.

    • Hardwired Compact Fluorescent: Most of our fixtures can be built with a click-and-twist GU24 pin-based socket for use with our GU24-base compact fluorescent lightbulbs. This hardwired compact fluorescent option is ideal for customers who want to make a permanent switch to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs. This option will satisfy most energy-efficient lighting codes and/or tax-incentive requirements such as California's Title 24. Unlike old, clunky hardwired compact fluorescent socket and ballast configurations, the new GU24 twist-and-lock socket deisgn easily allows the user to quickly insert or remove compact fluorescent lightbulbs of different wattages with one universal pin base. Please note that most compact fluorescent lightbulbs do not work properly on a dimmer and that fixtures built with a GU24 socket cannot be used with incandescent or specialty lightbulbs. We charge $10.00 per fixture for this option.

    • Sloped or Vaulted Ceilings: Our pendants can be adapted with double loops to accommodate a sloped or vaulted ceiling. We charge $25.00 for the additional parts and wiring for vaulted option fixtures.

    • Extended Lengths: We offer our fixtures in a range of standard lengths that fit in most environments, but we realize that you may have a unique situation. For an additional $15.00 per foot, per drop, we can build your fixture to almost any length you need. Please contact a Customer Service Representative to discuss construction options and pricing.

    • Switches: Sometimes locations are not switched but are always "on" or "hot." We can install a rotary or pull switch to most of our fixtures for an additional $15.00. Switches are available in brass or nickel finish only. Contact a Customer Service Representative to discuss switch placement options.

    • UL Damp Rating for Outdoor Applications: Many of our fixtures are perfect for porches and other sheltered areas. Some building codes require that a fixture have a UL Damp Rating when used for these applications. For an additional $10.00 we can upgrade most fixtures to this rating. Damp-rated fixtures should not be used in areas directly exposed to precipitation.

Installing a Light Fixture

We recommend that a licensed electrician install our light fixtures to ensure the safety of your home and the life of your fixture. Improperly installed light fixtures may create a fire hazard. All of our fixtures are designed for use in a 120-volt fused circuit and are intended for interior use, unless ordered, built and labeled for damp locations.


  • Screwdriver

  • Wire strippers

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire nuts

  • Crossbar mounting screws

  • Fixture bracket (included)

  1. Turn off the power at the wall and at the fuse or electrical box before installing the fixture.

  2. Remove the old fixture.

  3. Securely attach the fixture bracket to the electrical junction box.

  4. Light fixture wires must be properly connected to the house wires. Connect black fixture wire to black house wire (power) and white fixture wire to white house wire (neutral). If the fixture has clear or brown wires, connect the smooth wire to the black house wire (power) and the wire with ridges along the outer edge to the white house wire (neutral).

  5. If the fixture has a bare ground wire, where you connect it depends on the wiring in the house. Never connect it to a current-carrying wire. If the house has metal electrical boxes, connect the fixture ground wire to the green ground screw on the crossbar. If the house is new or has been rewired and has plastic boxes, connect the fixture ground wire to the house ground wire.

  6. All stripped ends of joined wires must be completely covered and securely connected by wire nuts. Make sure not to leave any bare wires exposed after installation (except the ground wire, if there is one). Make sure no wires are in contact with sharp metal edges and that all of the fixture and house wire insulation has not been damaged.

  7. Attach the fixture to the bracket.

  8. Once the fixture has been installed, turn power back on at the electrical box. With the wall switch still turned off, install the type of bulb at or below the maximum wattage indicated for your fixture. (Note: Using higher wattage bulbs or decorator bulbs will shorten the life of the fixture and may damage your glass shade.) Once the correct lightbulb and glass shade have been installed, switch on the power at the wall to make sure the fixture is working properly.

  9. Schoolhouse Electric Co. cannot be held accountable for any improperly installed fixtures or fixtures operated with lightbulbs of the wrong size or wattage.

Light Fixture Care

Our fixtures and shades are hand-crafted to not only resemble the quality and durability of original American-made classics but to match them. Our exclusive parts are made of heavy gauge solid brass and hand-finished in our state-of-the-art patina shop. Once parts are finished, our craftspeople in Portland, Oregon, build each fixture to your specifications. All our exclusive shades are also American-made, produced on the banks of the Monongahela River in West Virginia. They are hand-blown, one by one, in antique cast-iron moulds, using the same methods that have been in effect for over 150 years. As with any hand-crafted product, minor imperfections are inherent-and actually desirable-in the art form as indicators of the old-world craft and authenticity of our production methods.

In order to keep your fixtures looking their best, take special care not to scrape, gouge or scratch the finish of your fixture during installation. Once installed, our fixtures should only require a light dusting to stay beautiful. If you find yourself needing to clean your fixture, use only the mildest soaps, softest cloths and gentle pressure. Nickel finishes may develop a soft whitish patina over time that is easily removed with mild soap and water, an approved metal polishing cleaner such as Never Dull, or ammonia.

Like our fixtures, glass shades should only require an occasional dusting and washing if necessary. Opal, Crystal Etched and Opal Etched glass shades can be washed with warm water, mild dish soap and a soft cloth. Extra care must be taken when washing art glass, hand-painted and especially decorated shades as they may scratch with abrasive cleaners.


We guarantee our light fixtures against defects in materials and workmanship for a full year. Our fixtures are built with patience and care and should last a lifetime when properly used. We cannot guarantee our products when installed incorrectly or when used with improper specialty light bulbs or light bulbs over the maximum allowable wattage. We will repair or replace any guarantee claim at our discretion. No reimbursements can be given for the installation or removal of any product in question.